I cropped out Drs. Light and Fate because they were not worthy of my team (translation: I ran outta room for her and didn't have him at all).
Nostalgically beloved, sometimes maligned, the humor-focused era of the Justice League was a daring experiment in mainstream comics. For the first time, one of the Big Two’s marquee team books focused more on the relationships of the characters than on the villain(s) of the month. It proved surprisingly popular (for a while, anyhow), spawning a spin-off or two before it collapsed under its own ridiculous weight. Perhaps if writers Giffen and DeMatteis had dialed back the humor and played it a little bit straighter, the novelty wouldn’t have worn off in only 5 years. After, Brian Michael Bendis has essentially done the same thing with his team books for the past 6 years, with no sign of real fatigue in sales.
But I digress. This is supposed to be about HeroClix.
Now, with the release of several new pieces in The Brave And The Bold set, one can play a solid Justice League International themed team. Here’s mine, from a recent tournament:
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
Martian Manhunter (Brave and the Bold) 202 + Camouflage 8
JL Green Lantern (Justice League) 133
Fire & Ice 131
Mr. Miracle & Oberon 115
Blue Beetle & Booster Gold 82
Batman (Justice League #001) 75 + Inside Information 4
Black Canary (Justice League) 50
= 800 points.
Each round I picked the JSA Museum map from the DC Origin set. Using Mister Miracle and Oberon’s (MMO) Perplex, I boosted Blue Beetle and Booster Gold (B+G) to Charge a hole in the wall so Green Lantern could ferry Canary and Bats to hindering and himself to my Kinetic Accelerator. Then I moved the rest of the team to various set up points.
In Round One, that nearly went terribly south for me against my opponent Wil’s team of Green Arrow and Red Arrow (both from Crisis and both equipped with the Stealth-busting feat Trick Shot), The Wizard Shazam (The Brave and the Bold), Hitman, Songbird (Hammer of Thor), Dr. Strange (Secret Invasion) and Max Mercury with Armor Piercing and Swingline.
Ugh — three shooters who see through hindering terrain and characters and one who sees anything for Probability Control purposes. I didn’t help myself with my colossal mental fail of the evening; not using MMO’s Indomitable ability to freely push to safety and not be wide open to the Arrows’ line of fire. MMO immediately took big damage and had to flee to the nearby Eleha’al Vine for eventual healing.
To stop the twin Trick Shots, I used Green Lantern to taxi both A) Black Canary in base with both of them and B) Batman nearby to make a follow-up attack next round. The first tactic was thwarted when Canary was KO’d the very next turn and the second, when Songbird built a Barrier to stop Batman.
I thought I was thoroughly hosed at this point; the Barrier would fall and the free Trick Shot pieces would murder Batman with impunity. But I saw an escape route. Batman shadow-warped to an adjoining room to shoot out a wall and counter Songbird’s Barrier, giving Blue Beetle & Booster Gold a chance to take Canary’s place as the tie-up. That was all the stall time I needed to get Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Bats into the fight for real so they could clobber Green Arrow for the win before I could lose any more characters. 1-0.
ROUND TWO was vs. Zach, Wil’s son, running Iron Man (Secret Invasion) + Elite Sniper, Zauriel, Yellowjacket (Secret Invasion #006b), Talia (The Brave and The Bold), Punisher (Secret Invasion), Batman (The Brave and The Bold), Venom (Hammer of Thor) and Pawn 502. I stuck with the Museum.
I was more careful of my placement this time. Zach wasn’t, putting Zauriel and Iron Man in a spot where my Batman could harass them immediately with “Out of the Shadows.” I decided to swarm Iron Man, taking care to avoid Talia clear on the other side of the map. Pounding and pounding Stark until he was down, I then followed suit upon Punisher and Yellowjacket (although his high % of Skrull rolls made that take a lot longer than it should’ve). I again lost Canary but she did her job of drawing fire and taking theme PC tokens. 2-0.
FINAL ROUND was vs. Bradley’s not-quite-themed team of Spectre (Crisis), Wizard Shazam (The Brave and The Bold), Phantom Stranger, Deadman, Jason Blood and Scarlet Witch (Avengers SR).
After surviving Spectre’s first strike on MMO by burning all three of my theme PC rolls, I shot back with Fire & Ice for a successful RCE hit of my own. I again used GL to carry Batman in closer, pushing Fire & Ice to compound the damage to Spectre.
From this point, with Spectre neatly tied down by GL, I began to advance my force in earnest to rid myself of Phantom Stranger, whose 18 Defend was making further hits on Spectre unlikely — especially with 1-3 enemy Probability Controllers to get through. But despite a crit miss or two, I got the Stranger off Defend, took down Spectre and eventually added Phantom Stranger and Scarlet Witch for a commanding win, losing only Green Lantern when my young opponent used Deadman to Possess Fire & Ice into blasting the stuffing out of GL.
The prize, appropriately enough, was the Justice League International alternate team ability.
Much like the characters in the comics, this is a more effective team than it looks on the surface!
Yes. The cookie throne sculpt IS comic-accurate.
Martian Manhunter (The Brave and the Bold)
After some 5+ versions in HeroClix, they’ve finally gotten J’onn J’onnz exactly right (in spite of the humorously thematic nature of his cookie-mad dial). Hypersonic Speed is a power he’s always needed in ‘clix but never gotten until now because his more iconic Phasing ability has always taken up the slot. Now that and Shape Change are tucked away in a Trait, freeing up his Speed slot for HSS and Mind Control. That trait makes him perfect for the Camouflage feat, which makes him utterly invulnerable to ranged attack (when he’s next to a wall or blocking terrain) since his Shape Change can’t be countered by enemy Outwit. If he gets hit, “Telepathic Invisibility” offers a hefty defense boost. He can sport as high as a 20 DV!
Both appropriate and effective, “Cookie Martian” is thoroughly essential for JLI teams 400 points or higher.
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!
Words of unintentional hilarity and uncomfortable truth.
Green Lantern (Justice League SR)
The sole representation of bad-boy Green Lantern Guy Gardner in HeroClix is mediocre. He starts with Charge but his damage is low, his Enhancement shows at the worst spots, and his Flurry SP arrives when his defenses are soft.
But for this team, the Green Lantern Corps TA was invaluable for carrying Black Canary and Batman, and he was able to draw a lot of fire thanks to his starting Invulnerability. I’m not overstating matters to say that at least one game would’ve been lost without him.
(Great. Now he’ll get the swelled head.)
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA!
So HAWT!!!!! And so coooooool.
Fire & Ice
Can you say “damage cannon?” ‘Cause that’s what these babes are, able to hit for 5 via Ranged Combat Expert or 3 and 2 with the Duo Attack. Even better, they can push off it to gain their Barrier+Poison combo SP, making them super versatile. They’re also JLI fixtures, theme-wise. Fit ’em in if you can!
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA-HA-HA!
Mr. Miracle & Oberon
Lots of Perplex really helps the team’s stats. 18 DV + Combat Reflexes also helps the team by tying up someone and being nigh-unhittable. But it’s the combo of Duo Attack and Indomitable that makes MMO a fixture on any team, and with Perplex that means he can deal 10 clicks in two turns. He certainly dealt a lot of clicks in this tourney. (Lunge is a super feat for him, but I didn’t have room for it this time around.)
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA-HA-HA!!
These truly Super Buddies are way better than the slackers they appear to be.
Blue Beetle & Booster Gold
Their damage is low and their starting AV is just an OK 9. But the good news is that they push well to 10 AV and Outwit to help that damage stick. They also sport Perplex on other clicks.
But the reason they, perhaps more than any other member of this team, should be the first to add to your force is “Super Buddies Forever,” which gives adjacent keyword sharers +1 AV. Their double base offers a lot of said adjacency, and it frees up Perplex for damage. YAY!!! And, of course, there’s no piece more worthy for this themed team than the Blue & Gold.
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!
Not really happy to be here. But then, when IS Batman happy?
Batman (Justice League #001)
He’s a key piece of course, delivering plenty of clutch moves and yet he’s not the biggest threat. He’s also not as iconic for the team as some of the others.
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA-HA!!
Black Canary (Justice League)
She was only filler. But she was Stealth-shielding, theme-PC-taking, shooter-locking-down filler well worth her points.
JLI Rating: Bwah-HA-HA!!
Hope your own JLI games have Bwah-ha-happy endings!